Premier League Previews: Liverpool takes on Chelsea, Arsenal faces West Ham.

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Liverpool Vs. Chelsea  

The Premier League kicked off last weekend, and both Liverpool and Chelsea came away with wins. Liverpool squeezed by Leeds United, winning 4-3 in a thriller. Reds winger Mohammad Salah scored twice from the pentaly spot, one of which was a hat trick. Defender Virgil Van Dijk managed to get on the score sheet by heading the ball into the back of the net off a corner kick. Now, to say this was a master-class performance from Jurgen Klopp’s squad is a stretch, as the team didn’t play well. Many mistakes from Liverpool’s defense gave many opportunities to Leeds, and they capitalized on them. However, Liverpool was able to seal the win when Salah converted a penalty in the 88th minute. 

Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, Leeds United’s Mateusz Klich fight for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Leeds United, at the Anfield stadium, in Liverpool, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. (Shaun Botterill, Pool via AP)

Chelsea also came away with a win last weekend when they faced off against Brighton Hove Albion. The Blues’ 3-1 victory over Brighton looks good on paper, but Chelsea didn’t play well. Frank Lampard’s squad had less possession than the opposition, and his new signings made little to no impact throughout the game. Timo Werner had his opportunities in front of goal, but he wasn’t able to convert. Midfielder Kai Havertz disappeared in parts of the match and didn’t create much for the Blues throughout the game. The team was led to victory by captain Jorginho, defender Reece James and unlikely goal scorer Kurt Zouma.  

Now, the upcoming match can prove to be one of the most entertaining games this season has to offer as these two powerhouse clubs face off. Both clubs haven’t been in the best form, as they’ve struggled in their ways so far. It looks to be that both teams will be coming in with their squads at full strength. Liverpool has just recently completed the signing of Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich. It is unlikely that the midfielder will be featured in the squad against Chelsea, as he still has to complete his medical with Liverpool before the move is completed. The Reds will need to tighten up their defense against Chelsea because they can’t afford to make basic mistakes in their half.  

Chelsea’s Timo Werner attempt to control the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Brighton and Chelsea at Falmer Stadium in Brighton, England, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (Glynn Kirk/Pool via AP)

Chelsea will be looking to take a step in the right direction by picking up the win against last season’s Premier League Champions. Lampard will need to find a formation that suits his players. He will look to get playmaker Havertz more involved in the attack to create more opportunities for Werner throughout the game. Chelsea fans should be excited as new signings Thiago Silva and Ben Chillwell are set to be featured in the squad given the two players are now fit. It is still unclear if midfielder Hakim Ziyech will play after picking up an ankle injury in a preseason match. Once Chelsea finds their footing and play style, they are just as dangerous as Liverpool.  

Both teams have their strengths and weaknesses. No doubt, these are two of the best teams the Premier League has to offer, and it looks to be a good match. Liverpool and Chelsea will face off Sunday, Sept. 20 at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time. 

Arsenal Vs. West Ham  

Arsenal and West Ham have had completely different starts to their respective seasons. Arsenal kicked off the season with a 3-0 win over Fulham, while West Ham lost 2-0 to Newcastle. Arsenal will look to continue their winning form. The club also announced that leading goal scorer and club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signed a new three-year deal with the club, ending the speculation that he would leave. West Ham will look to get back on the right track, as club manager David Moise is now on the hot seat.  

Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, left, and Fulham’s Ivan Cavaleiro vie for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Fulham and Arsenal in London, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. (Ben Stansall/Pool via AP)

West Ham didn’t look terrible against Newcastle last weekend. The Hammers did a great job controlling the game as they had almost 60% of the possession throughout the match. The first half overall was just a lot of passing; scoring didn’t start till the second half. At points in the game, West Ham looked the more threatening side, but their poor defense is what led them to defeat. Former Manchester United and Everton manager David Moise has struggled in his time as manager of the Hammers. To say he has had any sort of success is a stretch, and it seems the fans have grown tired of continuous losing seasons.  

Arsenal has seemed to turn the corner under manager Mikel Arteta. The Gunners thrashed Fulham 3-0 and made it look particularly easy. Their new signings impressed and winger Willian notched two assists in the match while defender Gabriel Magalhaes scored his first goal for the Gunners in his club debut. Fan favorites Alexander Lacazette and Aubameyang both got on the score sheet as well. Arsenal controlled the game at all times and seemed to threaten Fulham’s goal every time they got the chance.  

West Ham needs to find their stride against Arsenal, as losing the first two games of the campaign won’t be good for the club. The Hammers will need to sit in deep against the Gunners to limit their attacking options and hope to keep Aubameyang quiet. Arsenal will more than likely dominate possession, so West Ham will need to take advantage of the opportunities they are given. Moise will look to win, for his career as manager of West Ham United is in jeopardy.  

Charlton Athletic’s George Lapslie, left, vies for the ball with West Ham’s Felipe Anderson during the English League Cup soccer match between West Ham United and Charlton Athletic at London stadium in London, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. (Clive Rose/Pool via AP)

Arteta and his squad will look to continue playing their style of soccer. They will look to keep possession when they have the ball and when they don’t, they will press West Ham and force them to make a mistake. With the amount of talent Arteta has now in the attacking third of the field, it will be interesting to see who he selects Saturday. The lineup will more than likely include Aubameyang. Lacazette has been in decent form since Project Restart last season. The striker was able to score a tap in against Fulham, but will that be enough to keep his place in the squad? Willian had a great outing last weekend, but with Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka pressing behind him, who knows who will start.  

Arsenal look to maintain their form and take the next step towards Champions League Football, while West Ham look to pick up valuable points in the league. These two London sides play Saturday, Sept. 19 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. 

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